THE sister of a “new Scot” fighting deportation to Kenya has told how his detention nightmare is “killing” her family.

Robert Makutsa was taken into custody by the Home Office in a row over permission to stay in the UK. Officials say he deliberately remained in Scotland after his visa ran out. However, the sound engineer, who has lived in the country for eight years, says he was not informed that paperwork had been rejected until he was detained.

He has now applied for asylum as he fights for the life he has made in Glasgow with his student fiancee Chloe Reis, who he met at a local church. The pair were supposed to marry last weekend, but were forced to call off the ceremony after he was taken over the border to Colnbrook immigration detention centre in England.

At a bail hearing on Tuesday, the Home Office argued that the 31-year-old should return to his country of origin and apply for reunification on a partner visa. However, as a full time student, Chloe is unlikely to meet the minimum £18,500 earnings criteria for several years.

Meanwhile, Robert’s only surviving family – sisters Leya and Grace and two nieces – live in the UK and he has no home or means of support in his birth country.

Yesterday his older sister Leya Makutsa, from Bristol, told The National of her desperation over his plight, saying: “This is killing us.”

Leya, who suffers from heart and kidney problems, described how the siblings rely on each other following the deaths of their parents and two other siblings in Kenya in quick succession.

The healthcare worker, who speaks to her brother in detention every day, said she is doing all she can for him, but feels she is failing the family through her inability to free him. Breaking down, she said: “I am doing all I can, but I am powerless.

“The way we were brought up, I have to take care of Robert because I am older. I am responsible for making sure he is okay. If my mum and dad were alive, they would not be happy to see him this way.

“He has always depended on me and I have always depended on him. There is no other place I look when I need anything.

“If they send him back, I don’t think I will be able to cope.”

Describing the impact of their family’s losses, Leya went on: “Their deaths happened so quickly and painfully. We were still mourning and grieving someone and another one would be gone. That has really affected our lives.

“We are still hurting and we really need each other. We were a very close family. When I look at Robert, I am reminded of my dad.”

Leya was set to travel to Glasgow for her brother’s immigration bail hearing on Tuesday, but was held back at the airport after the barcode on her ticket could not scan.

The frustration follows the upset caused over the cancellation of his wedding, which was supposed to take place last Saturday. The Home Office has questioned the validity of the relationship, but Leya said: “It is real. I always asked him ‘when are you going to marry that girl?’, but he was taking his time because he wanted to make sure it was right.

“When he said they were going to do it, my husband and I bought tickets right away, we booked time off work. We were just so happy.”

The Home Office says it does “not routinely comment on individual cases”. However, Leya insists her brother, whose case has been backed by cult Scots band Belle and Sebastian, has not tried to cheat the system, saying: “I don’t know if they have really looked into Robert’s case. If they did, the would realise he is genuine. In all humanity, after what we have gone through as a family, we deserve to be together. “